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Neill Blomkamp, "District 9"
Previous nominations or wins: None
Pros: Blomkamp's debut was a sophisticated and startling science fiction tale that won over critics and audiences alike. And in what may be as surprise to most, the director's branch isn't as adverse to first time nominees as much as you'd think.
Cons: If Blomkamp avoids the circuit and Sony Pictures doesn't provide the proper awards push both parties will just have to live with "District 9" making a slew of end of year top ten lists.